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98 s10 wont start
11-02-2015, 08:29 PM
Post: #1
98 s10 wont start
1998 Chevrolet s10 4.3 v6 5 speed from central Alabama
Has 61 pounds of fuel pressure,has good fire at the spark plugs but won't crank.any ideas?
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11-02-2015, 10:50 PM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2015 10:52 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #2
RE: 98 s10 wont start
If it wont crank the first place to start is the battery, poor battery connections, starter motor. These are the most common and most commonly misdiagnosed.

Let's try the easy questions first... When you turn the key can you hear anything at all? If you turn on the headlights and try to crank it what happens to the lights? Dim a little, (usually normal) dim alot, (weak battery or shorted starter) go completely out? (bad battery or connection) Have you tried a few whacks on the starter with a hammer? Quite often this will shake up a failing internal part and may even keep you going long enough to get a new one.

The last couple would be the clutch switch, the start relay, and the ignition switch itself but start with the above and get back to us.

BTW, diagnosing anything electrical gets hard if the battery is not up to snuff. If you are not sure then substitute a known GOOD battery before any testing.
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11-03-2015, 09:58 PM
Post: #3
RE: 98 s10 wont start
Another thing to try is take a can of starter fluid and spray into the breathing tube and try and start the truck if you get it to run for a minute or two then most likely you have either a bad fuel pump or a bad fuel relay.
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11-03-2015, 10:54 PM
Post: #4
RE: 98 s10 wont start
(11-02-2015 10:50 PM)Rupe Wrote:  If it wont crank the first place to start is the battery, poor battery connections, starter motor. These are the most common and most commonly misdiagnosed.

Let's try the easy questions first... When you turn the key can you hear anything at all? If you turn on the headlights and try to crank it what happens to the lights? Dim a little, (usually normal) dim alot, (weak battery or shorted starter) go completely out? (bad battery or connection) Have you tried a few whacks on the starter with a hammer? Quite often this will shake up a failing internal part and may even keep you going long enough to get a new one.

The last couple would be the clutch switch, the start relay, and the ignition switch itself but start with the above and get back to us.

BTW, diagnosing anything electrical gets hard if the battery is not up to snuff. If you are not sure then substitute a known GOOD battery before any testing.

It turns over but won't crank.tried ether but still just turns over.
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11-04-2015, 12:26 AM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2015 12:41 AM by Rupe.)
Post: #5
RE: 98 s10 wont start
OK, let's get the terminology correct....

"Cranking" and "turning over" one the same thing. IOW, you hear the starter and the engine is rotating, but it wont cough, fart, or start to run.

At this point I have to ask if the cranking sounds normal. It's not uneven, spitting, hesitating, slow, fast, etc? (pointing to certain other problems)

You say you have tried either (starting fluid) and get no further response. By that, I mean a few coughs or trying to run, not even for a moment. Right so far?

If we are on the same page so far that means your "spark" (the proper terminology, not "fire") is not reaching the plugs. The term "fire" means the spark (ignition) has caused the fuel to burn, so you can see how this can confuse everything if we don't stick to the same terms.

Given this logic we have narrowed it down to possibility a bad cap / rotor or perhaps a distributor gear that has worn to a point where it's not turning. (they are plastic) Both of these are common to the 4.3 engine, especially with anything over 100k miles. Yes, you can get spark from the coil because that's triggered via the crank sensor behind the front pulley, NOT the distributor. The dist is only in charge of two things... sending the spark to the right place on the cap and telling the ECM where the cam shaft is. (yeah, that one got me years ago too) Since the caps go bad and often short out internally the spark may not reach the plugs.

What else is common to the 4.3 engine? I have a fleet of these so I can speak with authority.

If you are well over 200k miles (and maybe pushing 300k?) you could have a cam chain that is too worn or skipped a few teeth, but more likely the next step (easy to spot) will be to check the oil and the coolant levels. These things like to dump the antifreeze into the oil or into the cylinders, which fouls the plugs to the point where it wont start.

Hint: if the cleck engine light has been on recently it's probably a distributor issue, if not then we're leaning toward mechanical issues. If you have the ability to get a scan done please do so. (provided the battery has not been disconnected) Any codes in storage can save us all a lot of time.

Second hint: if someone has installed non OEM tune up parts then all bets are off. Collectively, ignition problems are TEN times more likely if you are not using original Delco parts. Yeah, they cost a small fortune but they will last 100K miles without any problems.
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